Losing a loved one is an indescribable pain. It’s even more heart-wrenching when their passing is due to someone else’s negligence. In Florida, families who face such losses have the right to seek justice through wrongful death claims. This guide will walk you through the steps of this legal process with clarity and compassion.
Understanding Wrongful Death in Florida
In Florida, wrongful death happens when a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty. Simply put, if your loved one would have had a personal injury claim had they lived, you may have a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Florida statutes are specific about who can file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate, who is named in the will or appointed by the court, is responsible for filing the claim. This representative acts on behalf of the deceased’s estate and surviving family members.
The Steps to Navigate a Wrongful Death Claim
Step 1: Consult with a Knowledgeable Attorney
The first step in navigating a wrongful death claim is to consult with a lawyer who understands the complexities of Florida law. They can evaluate your case, inform you of your rights, and help outline the path forward.
Step 2: Investigation of the Death
Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and possibly consulting with experts.
Step 3: Determine the Damages
In wrongful death cases, “damages” refer to the compensation that the decedent’s survivors may receive. These can include funeral expenses, loss of support and services, lost companionship, and mental pain and suffering.
Step 4: Filing the Wrongful Death Claim
Once the attorney has gathered all the necessary information, they will file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate. This claim will be against those responsible for the death, who will have a chance to respond.
Step 5: Pre-Trial Processes
Before the trial, both sides exchange evidence and testimony through a process called “discovery.” During this time, negotiations for a settlement may occur. Most wrongful death claims are settled before reaching trial.
Step 6: Trial
If a settlement isn’t reached, the case will go to trial. Here, a jury will hear the case and decide on liability and damages. Your attorney will present the evidence and argue on behalf of your loved one’s estate.
Step 7: Collecting the Judgment
If the jury rules in your favor, the final step is collecting the judgment awarded. This can sometimes be a challenge, but a skilled attorney will have strategies to enforce the judgment.
Understanding the Time Limits for Filing a Claim
In Florida, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years from the date of death. Missing this deadline can result in the loss of the right to compensation.
Navigating the Emotional and Legal Challenges
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we understand the emotional toll a wrongful death claim can have on a family. While you focus on healing, we manage the legal complexities, providing a shoulder to lean on and a legal path to follow.
Navigating a Florida wrongful death claim is a process filled with legal intricacies. However, with the right guidance, it can be a path to finding some measure of solace and financial security after a tragic loss. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of others in Florida, know that you are not alone. At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we are committed to helping families like yours find justice.
Seek Justice with a Trusted Advocate: Discover How Lawlor, White & Murphey Can Support You
When life takes an unexpected and tragic turn, you need a legal team that stands by your side with integrity and compassion. At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we combine our comprehensive legal expertise with a personal touch that honors your loved one’s memory.
We believe in upholding your rights while shouldering the burden of legal processes during your time of mourning. Our commitment to personalized service means we’re more than your attorneys; we’re your steadfast advocates and allies, striving to bring you peace of mind and justice.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, you’re not just a case number — you’re part of our community, and your family’s well-being is our utmost priority. Let us guide you through the complexities of wrongful death claims in Florida with the sensitivity and respect you deserve.
Take the first step towards healing with Lawlor, White & Murphey. Contact us today for a consultation, and let our experience be the light during your darkest times.